Did you know that bats are the only mammals that can fly? They have an extra bone on their hind limbs and can sing love songs! If you haven’t heard of these amazing creatures yet, now is the perfect time to learn more. There are more than one hundred and thirty species of bats. Here are some more info about bats you may not know. All bats are adorable and have unique personalities.
More than 1,300 species of bats
Although many people think of bats as spooky creatures, they’re actually quite cool creatures. These nocturnal creatures are the second most common group of mammals after rodents, and make up about one fifth of the world’s total population. While some species weigh as little as a penny, others can reach a wingspan of six feet. While bats may have a bad reputation, they play an important role in the ecosystems in which they live.
They’re the only mammals capable of flight
The only mammals with true flight are bats. They have long, elongated fingers and a membrane stretched between them that functions like a rudder. With more than one thousand species of bats worldwide, bats comprise more than five percent of all mammal species on earth. However, bats face several threats that threaten their survival in the United States. These threats include climate change, wind energy production, and habitat loss.
They have an extra bone on their hind limbs
Unlike most mammals, bats have an extra bone on their hind legs to support the weight of the tail. The hind limbs are joined by a bone called uropatagium, which may enclose the bony tail. The uropatagium is supported by the legs, tail skeleton, and the calcar, a special cartilaginous extension of the ankle. This bone may also bear a distinctive projection called a keel. However, not all bats have a calcar or uropatagium, and some species lack either.
They sing love songs
Scientists have recently discovered that bats can sing, and they do so in the dark! The research, led by Dr. Emma Teeling of the University College Dublin, comes from research that was done with horseshoe bats in Bulgaria and Tunisia. Bats use sound waves to navigate and find food, so these songs are a rare treat for the human ear! But the sounds that these bats produce are surprisingly human-like.
They have long noses
There are eleven species of bats that feed on nectar, and they have long noses, which helps them pollinate a variety of plants. This is an example of co-evolution, where plant and pollinator evolve in tandem. Long-nosed bats are especially important for pollinating organ-pipe cactus and saguaro flowers. Their long noses help them reach the nectar.
They have long forelimbs
The evolutionary history of bats shows that bats evolved elongated forelimbs. The long bones of their forelimbs are consistent with wing morphology. However, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether bats evolved long forelimbs through evolution or by accident. It is not known which of these theories is correct. The most popular theory is the echolocation-first hypothesis. The underlying theory is that bats evolved long forelimbs as a result of an early adaptation to echolocation.
They flap their wings
Most people think that bats are spooky, bloodsucking creatures that carry rabies, but this perception is completely wrong. Bats are incredibly beneficial to ecosystems, and are extremely widespread. They make up more than a third of the class Mammalia and are found almost everywhere. They are actually incredibly similar to humans, which means that we are very much related. They flap their wings to help them fly and are often seen around our yards and parks.